Monday, April 29, 2013

What's wrong with the Blue Jays' Line-up?

Game Notes from Sunday afternoon's scorecard - Game 4 between the visiting Toronto Blue Jays, and the New York Yankees --- the complete scorecard of which, is here: "Blue Jays at Yankees - Game 4" -

Game Notes

Final in 9
Toronto Blue Jays: 2
New York Yankees: 3

What's wrong with the Blue Jays' Line-up?

(Written after I filled in the line-ups for today's game)

Yesterday I ranted here in Game Notes about how John Gibbons doesn't seem to know his players. Specifically I wondered why he didn't bat Cabrera in the 3 spot - as he is the team's best batter (average, situational, power); and move the heavy hitters into the 4 and 5 spots. I may have come off a little harsh, and without backing up my opinion with some details.

Here's what I meant:

Optimal Blue Jays' Line-up

1. C Rasmus CF, or R Davis RF
2. E Bonifacio 2B, or R Davis RF, or M Izturis 2B, or M Kawasaki SS
3. M Cabrera LF
4. J Bautista RF
5. E Encarnacion DH
6. A Lind 1B
7. B Lawrie 3B, or Mark DeRosa 3B
8. J.P. Arencibia C, or Henry Blanco C
9. M Kawasaki SS

The idea is to position 2 of the Jays' speedy, slap-hitting, inside-game-capable players in the 1, 2 spots; and bat Cabrera in the 3 hole.

This is not set in stone - for example, Lind, Lawrie and Arencibia can move up and down in the 6, 7, 8 spots - depending how they're hitting ... Lawrie and Rasmus as well show speed,average and power, so they can move in and out of the top of the order and down into the clean-up spots - giving the manager lots of flexibility in defensive planning.

Kawasaki is also top of the order style hitter - but Kawasaki is a ten year veteran of the Japanese leagues, he has the experience that may make him valuable batting ninth and in turning the line-up over --- so let him excel in the 9 spot through that added responsibility. Allow him to lead from the bottom through his sacrificing a number of at-bats batting low in the order, in order to help the team. Kawasaki may be better suited to this role because in the baseball culture he comes from, putting the team before the individual is highly accented - much more than it is here.

The use of the 9 spot in this way is based on the way many great managers have used a very good hitter in the 9 spot --- like the New York Yankees managers have done through the last period.


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